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Exploration

The New World

Who was the first European to see the Pacific Ocean from its eastern shore?

In 1513, Vasco Náñnez de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama and became the first European to see the Pacific Ocean from its eastern side. Wearing full armor, he walked straight into the ocean and claimed it and all the land it touched for Spain. He named the discovery the “Mar del Sur” (the South Sea). Only six years later, Balboa was beheaded by a jealous rival.



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